(IUI) is the placement of sperm in a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. This procedure is used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal infertility due to male factors and women with cervical mucus problems. The IUI is often done along with ovulation stimulating medications. This medical procedure can be performed using the sperm of the husband or donor. Before this procedure, the woman should be evaluated for any hormonal imbalance, infection or any structural problem.
Insemination is performed at the time of ovulation, usually within 24-36 hours after the increase in LH is detected, or after the “trigger” injection of hCG is administered. Ovulation is predicted by a urine test kit or blood and ultrasound analysis. In the case of insemination of the husband, the male partner produces a sample, at home or in the clinic or in the doctor’s office. The sperm prepares for IUI. The sperm of the male partner or the external donor are “washed” or separated.
The separation selects the mobile sperm from the ejaculation of man and concentrates them in a small volume. Sperm washing clears sperm of potentially toxic chemicals that can cause adverse reactions in the uterus. The doctor uses a soft catheter that is passed through a speculum directly to the woman’s uterus to deposit the semen at the time of ovulation.
The IUI can be used together with ovulatory medications, such as clomophin citrate, gonadotropins or urofolitropins. If injectable ovulation stimulant drugs are used in an IUI cycle, careful monitoring is essential. Monitoring includes periodic blood tests and ultrasounds that begin around day 6 of the woman’s cycle. The results of these tests will indicate when the eggs are ripe, which will cause hCG injection.
IUI is also used with specially prepared donor sperm. The sperm bank sends the sperm from the doctor’s office that is already prepared for IUI. The IUI is a relatively quick procedure and is performed in the doctor’s office without anesthesia. It should not be painful, although some women report mild discomfort.